Frequently Asked Questions

HEAD_testen

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Our relationships with customers and suppliers are of great strategic importance. Common sense, good judgment, and exceptional customer service will be used in working with you. Below are some frequently as questions to assist you in getting to know us.

If you require more information regarding anything below, please Contact Us.

Why NATEX?

NATEX Measurement Solutions offers you a single point of contact for all your instrumentation and measurement needs. We can supply you the tools required to perform your job, and also take care of your calibration and testing requirements by utilising our relationships within the metrology community.

Our capabilities cover a wide range of disciplines including Electrical DC/LF and RF/Microwave, Dimensional, Torque & Force, Pressure & Vacuum, Mass/Weight, Temperature, Humidity, Flow, Fiber Optics, Acoustics, Nuclear Safety and more.

We service all the major brands and manufacturers, such as Keysight, Fluke, Tektronix, FLIR, Budenberg, Honeywell, Amtek, Norbar, Mitutoyu, Brüel & Kjær, Kyoritsu, Horiba, Dräger Safety, Mettler Toledo, Anritsu, Testo, Hach and so much more. We are able to support all manufacturers and instrument types.

As a full-service provider we are the single point of contact for all our customers calibration, service and repair needs. We are vendor independent and able to support all manufacturers and instrument types through our metrology network. Coordinating an organisations complex instrumentation and needs requires a deep understanding of many industries, laboratory capabilities, scopes of accreditation and capacity that benefits all our customers. Let us manage your equipment so you can focus on your core business saving you significant time, money and administration costs.

With our network of over 100 partner laboratories, you can be sure we can calibrate all your measurement devices and brands.

Benefits

  • Reduce logistical complexity and save time with one point of contact for all Testing and calibration needs.
  • With our network of over 100 partner laboratories, you can be sure we can calibrate most measurement devices and brands.
  • Lower costs by eliminating financial surprises and achieving economies of scale in calibration resulting in better pricing and terms.
  • Improve operational performance through faster calibration turnaround time and increased asset usage.
  • Secure accurate and consistent results for your devices over their entire life cycle
  • Reduce unscheduled production or machine downtime, product and process quality issues, product recalls and rework.
  • Ensure the ongoing accuracy and availability of all your test assets.

Our people, products and processes, have been the hallmarks of our trusted relationships with our clients, who have come to depend on us as their business partner of choice. If you’re interested in having NATEX manage your instrumentation needs please contact us today!

 

What is calibration?
A calibration is the process of verifying the capability and performance of an item by comparison to traceable measurement standards. Calibration is performed with the item being calibrated in its normal operating configuration – as the normal operator would use it.

The calibration process uses traceable external stimuli, measurement standards, or artefacts as needed to verify the performance. Calibration provides assurance that the instrument is capable of making measurements to its performance specification when it is correctly used. The result of a calibration is a determination of the performance quality of the instrument with respect to the desired specifications. This may be in the form of a pass/fail decision, determining or assigning one or more values, or the determination of one or more corrections.

The calibration process consists of comparing an IMTE unit with specified tolerances, but of unverified accuracy, to a measurement system or device of specified capability and known uncertainty in order to detect, report, or minimise by adjustment any deviations from the tolerance limits or any other variation in the accuracy of the instrument being compared. Calibrations are performed according to a specified documented calibration procedure, under a set of specified and controlled measurement conditions, and with a specified and controlled measurement system.

 

What type of instruments get calibrated?
Any instrument which measures a physical value can be calibrated – i.e. temperature, acceleration, pressure, electrical current or voltage, etc. The optimum calibration technique is to perform a system calibration where all of the sensors are logged via a computer and any calibration offsets can be programmed into the software to account for any errors present in the sensor, cables and data acquisition instrumentation. The system wiring is then untouched to ensure sensors which were calibrated in-situ, in specified channel numbers, experience minimal variable changes in the future.

Calibration results can be used to characterise sensors which cannot be adjusted such as temperature probes. In these cases the sensor is used as normal during testing but the readings are modified afterwards based on the calibration data.

 

Is my instrument already calibrated?
Instruments provided by NATEX are supplied with a calibration certificate when they are purchased. There will be a calibration sticker on the instrument indicating the details of the last calibration and a due date for recalibration (Note: this is merely a recommended due date and not representative of when the current calibration is void. Any recommended calibration interval found in any Report or document are suggestions only and it is the customers responsibility to ensure that they abide by any relevant legislation, regulation, standard, manufacturers specification, code of practice ensuring the Instrument is fit for purpose.)

 

Do I need to calibrate my instrument?
If you simply use a handheld digital multimeter to detect whether a circuit is live or not, you may not care how accurate the reading is; as long as there is a reading vaguely displaying what you expect to see then you may not require it to be calibrated.

Some instruments such as portable appliance testers must be kept calibrated by law as they are used to pass or fail appliances if they do not meet legal safety margins. If an instrument hasn’t been used for many months or you don’t know the history of its use, it’s a good idea to have it recalibrated before you use it next.

 

How often does my instrument require recalibration?
There is no defined time-frame how often instruments must be calibrated; it’s more a question of how long a period can you afford to risk your instruments being potentially inaccurate? Only you can determine the application of your instrument and the risk associated with incorrect measurements.

Most instruments have a manufacturer recommended recalibration period of 1 year however each instrument is used uniquely and recalibration cycles vary greatly. New but poorly designed devices may be inaccurate to tolerances for which better designed devices may maintain for many years of normal use.

Some manufacturers have to specify wider tolerances for their instruments to ensure their products fall within specifications; better manufacturers will ensure their products operate within a very tight margin of error to ensure their products will perform well within specifications. However, misuse could cause an instrument to fall outside of its specification and therefore require calibration adjustments or even repairs. Subjecting instruments to physical shocks or electrical surges outside of their operating ranges may permanently damage even the best devices.

It’s recommended that you have an instrument calibrated prior to first use and then after its first year in use to check its performance. If an instrument begins to drift towards the limit of its tolerance at yearly cycles you may choose to have it recalibrated more frequently. It is recommended to recalibrate instruments before any critical testing is performed or after long term storage.

 

What is laboratory accreditation?
Laboratory accreditation is defined as formal recognition of an organisation’s technical competency to perform specific tests, types of tests, or calibrations. The general requirements for laboratory accreditation are contained in ISO/IEC 17025.

This standard contains quality system requirements and technical requirements that the laboratories must meet. Some laboratories are accredited by NATA to this standard. Laboratory accreditation requirements, however, go beyond just ISO/IEC 17025 and must take into consideration their scope of accreditation.

 

What is the scope of accreditation?
The list of specific tests, types of tests or calibrations for which a laboratory is found competent are listed in a Scope of Accreditation. The final content of the scope must be approved by the assessor (NATA) and the selected members of the accreditor.

For calibration laboratories, the scope normally includes the parameters, ranges of measurement, the best uncertainty associated with each range, and the techniques/equipment used to perform the calibrations.

The scope document is usually an attachment to the certificate of accreditation and the certificate is incomplete without it. Only the calibration or testing areas that the laboratory is accredited for are listed in the scope document, and only the listed areas may be offered as accredited calibrations or tests.

Most laboratories have a very limited scope. That’s  where NATEX comes in. We act as a single point of contact for your business to organise testing, calibration and repair services in accordance with your specifications. With a metrology network of over 100 partner laboratories, you can be sure we can meet your needs.

 

Who is NATA?
NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) is an accrediting authority recognised by the Government of Australia via a memorandum of understanding, as an organisation that can provide independent assurance of technical competence. NATA perform assessments of laboratories in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

 

Is your Metrology Network accredited to ISO/IEC 17025?
In most cases yes. However, some original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) or authorized repair organisations are not accredited by NATA but meet the manufacturers requirements and are the only body capable of serviceing/repairing the instrument.

Depending upon your requirements, we can organise calibration, testing and repair externally through one of our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited metrology partners. All vendors we use are highly experienced in their fields of expertise. The majority of our metrology network comprises of laboratories accredited by NATA to ISO/IEC 17025, or an ILAC signatory laboratory. Our diligence in selecting only quality partners have been the basis of our trusted relationships with our customers.

Customers utilise our services to reduce administration and coordination of large or complex instrumentation requirements. We act as a single point of contact and take care of all your requirements. With our network of over 100 partner laboratories and growing, you can be sure we can meet your needs.

 

How do I know what type of instrument I need?
Ensure you know your requirements and are aware of limitations between different instruments before purchasing anything. Purchasing a cheaper instrument may be a false economy as it may require more frequent recalibration to maintain its accuracy.

Calibration can be expensive due to the complexity of the instrument, how many parameters require testing and the complexity of the testing procedure. Cheap devices which do not readily maintain their accuracy usually are not economical to recalibrate as often a replacement unit could be a cheaper alternative.

 

Is NATEX a member of any professional associations?
Yes, we are members of the Institute of Instrumentation Control and Automation Australia (IICA). Since 1943, the IICA have acted as the peak body regarding Instrumentation, Control and Automation activities in Australia. Key staff also hold memberships with the Metrology Society of Australasia.

 

Can you advice me on what type of instruments I may require?
Yes. One of our support staff will be able to help. Please ensure you know your requirements and intended application prior to contacting us.

 

What can affect the price of calibration?
A quote for the calibration or service on your instrument is available upon request. Unless otherwise stated, the quoted price for service excludes adjustment, repairs or consumables. Delivery charges are typically included in our quotes.

Additional surcharges may apply if:

  • The equipment requires excessive cleaning or has biological contaminants associated with it.
  • Additional labour time is required.
  • The instrument requires repairs or servicing.
  • Decontamination and cleaning.
  • If replacement parts, consumables, batteries and fuses are required.

The customer will be advised with a new or revised quote for acceptance prior to any work commencing.

If repair costs exceed an economical limit, an analysis surcharge, based on any additional labour time required, may apply instead. A vendor agreement entered into will also reduce the individual cost per unit item. Please contact us to learn more about our vendor management services and how we can help you.

 

Can NATEX perform calibration, service and repair?
Yes! We offer comprehensive measurement solutions across a wide range of industries supporting your flow, level, pressure, temperature, electrical, RF, data and IECex/ATEX needs. We can undertake traceable calibrations in accordance with manufacturer specifications.

Additionally, depending upon your requirements (e.g. contractual requirements to use only NATA or ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories) we can organise calibration, testing and repair externally through one of our accredited metrology partners.

We service all the major brands and manufacturers, such as Keysight, Fluke, Tektronix, FLIR, Budenberg, Honeywell, Amtek, Norbar, Mitutoyu, Brüel & Kjær, Kyoritsu, Horiba, Dräger Safety, Mettler Toledo, Anritsu, Testo, Hach and so many more.

Major repairs may require the instrument to be sent to the manufacturer. In this case we will advise you regarding repair and freight charges with a new or revised quote for acceptance prior to any work commencing.

 

Can you back-up my instrument data prior to any service?
Unfortunately we do not offer this service. It is the customers responsibility to ensure they have a copy of their data. Please note that the repair of your goods may result in the loss of any user-generated data.

 

Do I have to decontaminate my equipment?
Yes. Please complete the Declaration of Decontamination Form prior to booking your equipment for service. Instruments will not be booked in or work commenced until we receive a signed copy of this form. It is the responsibility of the customer to remove all substances which are dangerous for human health from the instrument.

Please ensure the instrument is safe for our service personnel to handle. Choose the appropriate decontamination method depending on what substances the instrument has been exposed to. For biological substances, the most commonly used methods are:

  • An approved decontamination solution such as Decolab, Virkon, Liquinox, etc.
  • Autoclaving, please refer to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Cleaning with 70% ethanol.

 

How long are quotes valid for?
Quotes are valid for 30 days unless otherwise advised or stipulated in writing in a vendor management agreement.

 

What are your payment terms?
Payment for non-account holders is by EFT or credit card only. Account holders are typically 30 Days from the end of the month unless otherwise stipulated in writing in a vendor management agreement.

 

Do you offer a warranty?
NATEX offers a statutory manufacturer’s warranty for all instruments sold unless specifically excluded elsewhere. Any repairs and parts installed by NATEX carry (unless otherwise stated on the attached invoice) a guarantee against defects in materials for a period of three months from the date of delivery provided that the Goods have not been mistreated, unattended, interfered with.

Any goods and/or services not manufactured but supplied by NATEX shall be subject to the warranty, if any, offered by their manufacturer and such goods and/or services shall be excluded from the warranty offered by NATEX. Further details regarding our warranty periods are detailed in our Terms and Conditions of Purchase.

 

Do you organise equipment pick-up?
Yes! NATEX offer a complimentary pick-up service for all customers. Tell us where and when, and we’ll have an insured courier pick up your equipment free of charge.

 

Can I drop something off at your lab?
NATEX no longer accepts “drop offs”. We will only accept deliveries from registered and insured couriers. We do this to reduce counter-party risk and ensure there is a chain of custody when handling your precious equipment.

We offer a complimentary pick-up service for all customers. Tell us where and when, and we’ll have an insured courier pick up your equipment free of charge.

 

My calibration certificate has another company on it. Who performs the calibration?
Depending upon your requirements (e.g. ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation), we may organise calibration, testing and repair externally through one of our metrology partners. This is usually done to ensure the work is conducted in accordance with your requirements and is advised on all quotes.

All work performed will be in accordance with manufacturer specifications and/or published calibration procedures or servicing guidelines. Sometimes the certifying laboratory may change depending upon availability or on your specified requirements. All vendors we use are highly experienced in their competencies. Our diligence in selecting only quality partners have been the basis of our trusted relationships with our customers.

Customers utilise our services to reduce administration and coordination of large or complex instrumentation requirements. We act as a single point of contact and take care of all your requirements. With our network of over 100 partner laboratories and growing, you can be sure we can meet your needs.

 

I need help with understanding terminology in my certificates.
Please click here for a list of metrology terminology and definitions to assist.

 

How long are calibration certificates valid for?
Calibration certificates and test measurements found in any certificate, report or document issued by NATEX or by a third-party are considered void after the instruments have left the laboratory and are released to the customer or a third-party.

Measurements taken at the time of test may no longer be valid or accurate due to a change of environment; (e.g. temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, local changes in gravity, etc.) and therefore it’s possible measurements taken in the future may no longer match measurements found within the certificate.

It is important to understand that certificates of calibration do not constitute any recommendation or advice. No warranties, such as fitness for a particular purpose, are expressed or implied.

 

I lost my certificate. How do I get a new one?
We do not store customer certificates internally as measurements taken at the time of test may no longer match the instruments current measurements. Please return the instrument to NATEX so we can organise calibration and a have a new certificate issued to you.

 

I represent a metrology laboratory. How do I join your partner network? 
All vendors we use are highly experienced in their competencies. Our diligence in selecting only quality partners have been the basis of our trusted relationships with our customers. If you believe you can add value to our customers please contact accounts by sending an email to accounts@natex.net.au so we may issue you a trade reference form and organise a laboratory inspection and review.

 

Need more help?
Contact one of our friendly staff by sending an email to service@natex.net.au or call: +61 8 6160 5995.

 

IICA_greyscale  certification icons